Warned about overdoses

A public warning has been issued by an Indigenous community in southern Alberta after an alarming number of overdoses in a two-day period. 

The Blood Tribe Administration issued the warning via social media Friday, following 22 overdoses in a 48-hour period. One of the overdoses was fatal. 

The administration believes that carfentanil, which is approximately 100 times stronger than fentanyl, could be to blame for the spike in cases. 

“We are concerned about the well-being of our tribal members and issue this warning again in hopes of preventing deaths,” the community wrote in the statement. “We have been informed that more overdoses have occurred in recent days and the alert is not being taken seriously.”

According to the Blood Tribe Police Service chief, Kyle Melting Tallow, officers will be working around the clock, even on their days off, in the coming days to help. 

"This has an impact on many families who’ve had to deal with their loved ones dying, or even ending up in the hospital,” Melting Tallow told CTV News Channel on Saturday. “This also has an effect on our first responders, including our EMS and fire departments, as they’re responding to these calls in increasing numbers.”

25 to 30 opioid-related calls each month are received by the Blood Tribe Emergency Services, in a community of fewer than 13,000 people. They have already seen 39 overdoses this month.

Melting Tallow says that policing efforts against drug traffickers have been increased, as well as police efforts to educate the public about the dangers of opioids. 

The community is also considering building a safe consumption site. 

-with files from CTV Vancouver

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